Centre for Rural Economy

Cynthia Olumba

Cynthia Olumba

An Analysis of Land Degradation Neutrality Interventions in Southeast Nigeria

Email: c.n.olumba2@newcastle.ac.uk

Supervisors: Professor Guy Garrod and Dr Francisco Areal

Agricultural land degradation is increasing and becoming a major challenge to global food production. Recognizing the global dimensions of land degradation, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is assisting countries in tackling this challenge. All state parties have therefore been invited to commit voluntarily to set LDN targets to be achieved by 2030. In response to this call, Nigeria leveraged on the default data provided by the UNCCD to publish a report mapping out the degraded hotspots areas in the country, and the strategies to address the degradation problem. The Southeast region of Nigeria which is identified as one of the degraded hotspot areas will be the focus of this study. The approaches suggested in the report for addressing land degradation in this area are the adoption of Sustainable Land Management Practices (SLMPs) to avoid soil erosion; Agroforestry practices to improve cropland productivity and enforcing compensation.

While this represents notable progress in tackling land degradation at the national level. An important policy question is the following: what can be done to enhance the implementation of the suggested LDN strategies in the area? To provide answer to this important question, this study seeks to identify the factors that determine farmers’ adoption of the suggested SLMPs. Moreover, the study will analyse the economic benefits of the suggested SLMPs, since they shape the farmer’s willingness and investment decision in land management.

Furthermore, to provide inclusive policy recommendations, the study will consider gender-related issues in agricultural technology adoption. Finally, recognizing that land management projects and interventions often fail due to the absence of incentives for farmers to adopt the practices. The study will identify the policy incentives that would stimulate the implementation of LDN strategies from the stakeholder’s perspectives.

The study will combine elements of qualitative and quantitative research approaches in data collection and analysis. Overall, a study of this kind is necessary for filling important gaps in the literature and providing economic and policy-relevant information needed to support efforts to address land degradation, thereby enabling LDN to become a reality.